If you walk outside and want to send a Whatsapp message or look up the nearest supermarket, you automatically connect to the 4G network. That’s usually not a problem. The Netherlands has a great 4G coverage. Nevertheless, there are situations and locations where the signal is poor, for example, in parking garages, offices and buildings with thick walls. WiFi often performs better in such locations. But, if we may believe the rumors, the arrival of 5G will change everything.
What is 5G?
We currently read a lot about 5G, but what is it? 5G is the 5th generation mobile communication system and is able to support blazing fast speeds. Much faster than your wireless network at home and about 50 times faster than the current 4G network. Tests have reached 5G speeds of 1 terabyte per second! The speeds reached with 4G in the Netherlands are about 50 megabyte per second which, compared to other countries, is actually pretty good. 5G will improve your download- and upload speed. Especially in busy areas the speed of 5G will be noticeable as the 5G network can handle far more connected devices without causing interference.
The intention for the upcoming years is to replace the current 4G network with 5G. The expectations are high. You could say that 5G is over-hyped. The promises are that 5G will allow you to send and download large files in no time. That busy places will have a better coverage. That the network could be used for precision agriculture, remote medical care, self-driving cars, drones that deliver packages and virtual reality.
Customers often ask us whether the arrival of 5G means that they’ll have to switch. Do they have to do something? Do they need to purchase new equipment? Will 5G also replace WiFi? And is 5G the ideal solution? Which solution is the best, fastest and cheapest?
WiFi remains the best solution for indoors
According to us, WiFi is and remains a great solution for indoors. The walls, ceilings and roofs of buildings affect your 4G coverage. We don’t expect that 5G will be able to resolve these problems. Also, the adoption of 5G for Enterprise Mobility will take more time as the business environment has a lot more requirements for wireless than the consumer market
5G may be interesting for outside and remote
However, 5G can definitely be interesting for Enterprise Mobility too. Especially for organizations that work in outlying areas, such as parking lots and port areas. These areas usually have a complete WiFi infrastructure installed so people can work wireless. If 5G becomes a reality, it might be worth to make the switch. The installation of a WIFI infrastructure that provides coverage over a vast area is, after all, very expensive.
Or take an outdoor area such as Schiphol or the largest festival site in the Netherlands: the Zwarte Cross, for example. In these areas you have a lot of people coming together who all want to use their mobile. In these situations, WiFi is and remains an excellent solution. Not only because of the coverage, but also because WiFi allows you to collect all kinds of information to better manage people flows in the event of calamities. If WiFi turns out to be too expensive to provide coverage, 5G might be a good alternative.
In general, there are 3 important factors to consider before making a decision.
- Performance (coverage and speed)
- Physical characteristics of the environment
In short, if 5G becomes available, it could be a good solution for several situations. But for indoors and environments where WiFi is already doing an excellent job, we are not sure if 5G will be able to do better.
Dalosy gives advice
As an Enterprise Mobility specialist, Dalosy is happy to be your partner. We identify the requirements and needs of your company with regards to wireless and mobility. We evaluate the environment, the physical characteristics of the property, the costs and the ambition of your business. We discuss all short and long-term options, give substantiated advice and provide the equipment you need (or upgrade your existing equipment) to create the optimal work environment. We take care of all the essentials, so you don’t have to worry about it!